Going Organic – the Profitable Thing to Do?

Here’s an assumption you may be familiar with.


Going organic is the way to maximise so many things. Maximum taste, maximum ethical responsibility, maximum food health. And – unfortunately – maximum consumption of time and space. Conventional production methods are simply more efficient. Big business likes efficiency, which is another word for “profits”. And there’s the rub.


A study from Italy’s University of Siena has found that the production of grapes on an organic farm leaves a smaller “eco-footprint” than a farm using conventional mass-production methods – 7.17 square metres per bottle of organic wine, compared with 13.98 per bottle of non-organic. Part of this greater efficiency comes because mechanised production uses more land.

Long-Overdue Rethinking

So, big business likes efficiency? Then it had better start looking long and hard at organic production methods. Not only can they be a more effective use of space, the inevitable extra time spent in using organic methods pays off in the long run when the crop is more sustainable and of better quality.

And if it becomes clear that organic farming isn’t a sacrifice for big business? Then it becomes unacceptable for them to charge us more money to shop organically. This could get very interesting.

Image: Marianne Perdomo

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.